Why the FBI interviewed Liz Truss’s chief of staff

Liz Truss

It’s been an eventful few weeks for Liz Truss. Our new Prime Minister has faced a baptism of fire not seen since by an incoming premier since Churchill and the fall of France in 1940.

War, inflation, a-cost-of-living crisis and the death of the Queen: so much for a honeymoon. Still, Her Majesty’s passing has meant a brief hiatus from normal politics, which is expected to resume with gusto on Tuesday. And one issue which we can expect Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer to probe with relish is Truss’s newly appointed Chief of Staff, Mark Fullbrook. And Britons thought Boris’s departure would mean a return to normalcy in politics…

For according to today’s Sunday Times, Fullbrook has been questioned by the FBI in connection to an ongoing investigation about an alleged criminal plot to bribe an American politician and influence a US election.

The paper reports that Fullbrook was made a formal subject of a US Department of Justice and FBI investigation this year, into an alleged conspiracy to subvert the democracy of Puerto Rico, the US-administered Caribbean island. The investigation is looking into allegations of a bribe by the London-based owner of a Puerto Rican bank and Tory party donor Julio Herrera Velutini. 

Prosecutors allege that Velutini promised Puerto Rico’s governor, Wanda Vázquez Garced $300,000 for her re-election campaign so long as the head of the island’s financial regulator was sacked. 

In April the FBI asked Britain’s National Crime Agency and the Metropolitan Police to help secure Fullbrook’s attendance at a formal interview. He agreed after being approached by Scotland Yard. His company was subpoenaed and forced to hand over hundreds of sensitive emails.

Fullbrook has since signed an agreement with the FBI and is co-operating as a witness, according to the Sunday Times. There is no suggestion that he and CT Group, the political consultancy he was working for, knew anything about the alleged bribery.

CT Group says they comply with all laws and regulations and are working with the US authorities.